Our Program Staff

Kathryn Bowden, M.Ed, J.D. – Executive Director

joined the Oasis staff in January 2006. She has a J. D. from Cumberland School of Law and a Bachelors degree from the University of Alabama. At Alabama, Ms. Bowden was an Honors Scholar with a specialization in Women’s Studies. Ten years after receiving her law degree, she returned to college and earned a Masters degree in Counseling at Auburn University.

Her prior experience includes the private practice of family law and service as Executive Director of two statewide nonprofits – Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform and Alabama Voters against Lawsuit Abuse. Her special expertise in regulatory issues includes terms as an attorney for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the U.S. Department of the Interior, and SONAT Inc. Her expertise in public relations includes her role as press secretary for two statewide political campaigns. Kathryn is a Robert Wood Johnson Ladder to Leadership Fellow and a Momentum graduate.

Ms. Bowden’s business background as well as her legal and nonprofit experience, combined with her education and personal passion for supporting women and children, make her the perfect fit as the manager of an organization dedicated to the well-being of women and children.

Carolyn Nemeth, M.A., LPC-S – Clinical Director

has been a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) for more than twenty-five years and is also a Supervising Counselor (LPC-S). She received her Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in Marriage and Family Counseling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She served as Oasis’ Intake Coordinator for five years and prior to joining the staff at Oasis worked extensively in community mental health and in private practice.

Carolyn has specialized interest and training in Solution-Focused Therapy and Play Therapy. In addition to her duties as Clinical Director, Carolyn also conducts individual sessions with women coping with depression, anxiety, grief, trauma and relationship issues.

Jeri P. Kyle – Director of Development and Communications

previously served even years at Oasis, handling the administrative functions for operations, human resources, and facility management.  Her community volunteer experience includes ten years with Junior League of Birmingham, serving on the Executive Board and serving as Co-Chair of the largest fundraiser, the Antiques and Garden Show.   She recently served as Chair of the Gala for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). She was a member of the Beeson Grant Committee with Canterbury Methodist Church and served as Chair of the Mt. Brook School System’s Special Education Advisory Committee.  Jeri has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Auburn University. She was employed by Arthur Andersen Consulting, Hayes Microcomputer Products, MSA Software, and was the owner of a payroll service for small businesses.


Meet The Counseling Staff

Cristal Cummings, LPC-S, RPT

is a Licensed Professional CounselorSupervisor; a Registered Play Therapist; and a Certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. She received her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Alabama A&M University and has twenty years of experience working with children and families. She served for sixteen years on an inpatient psychiatric unit at a local children’s hospital, where she was the lead therapist. She is trained in the 1-2-3 Magic parenting program and uses this often when working with families. Cristal’s passion is helping children of all ages who have experienced trauma. She enjoys using therapeutic play activities to help children process thoughts, feelings and gain a better awareness of self and the world around them. Cristal also works closely with parents and caregivers to encourage support for the child and ensure wellness for the entire family.

Patty Cusick, M.Ed., LPC

is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Patty received her Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of Montevallo.  She has experience working with diverse populations and age groups within the mental health field, especially adolescents.  Patty has extensive experience with crisis intervention and suicide prevention.  She is a member of the American Counseling Association and Chi Sigma Iota, the international honor society of professional counseling.

Cathy Foss, Ed.S, LPC, RPT

is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist. Cathy received her Master’s and her Education Specialist Degrees in Counseling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Cathy specializes in Play Therapy with a focus on childhood problems such as sexual/physical abuse, trauma, anxiety, attachment disorders and anger management. Cathy also provides individual counseling to adolescents and women.

Karen Gibbons, M.A., LMFT, ATR, LFYP-1

is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Art Therapist. Karen holds a Master of Arts degree in Marital and Family Therapy and Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University at Belmont, California. Karen has practiced in Birmingham and in Palo Alto, California.  In addition to traditional talk therapy, Karen specializes in Art Therapy for all ages to facilitate self-exploration and self-expression. She is also Level 1 Certified in LifeForce Yoga® for Depression and Anxiety which incorporates mindfulness techniques. Karen works with individuals, couples, and families on a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, stress management, relationships, family of origin, lifecycle transitions, loss and bereavement, and self-exploration.

Elizabeth Gross, M.Ed., LPC

is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor. Elizabeth is a graduate of the University of Montevallo, receiving her Master’s Degree in Couples, Marriage and Family counseling. Elizabeth has experience working with children, adolescents and adults coping with depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, and substance abuse issues. She utilizes creative arts and play therapy techniques, and is currently working towards becoming a Registered Play Therapist.

Cynthia Mardis, LBSW

is a Licensed Bachelor Social Worker with over 25 years of experience working with individuals in the areas of medical and mental health, foster care, HIV and AIDS, and the homeless population with focused experience serving women and children. Cynthia serves as the agency Case Manager and provides community resource referral assistance to Oasis clients and their families. Cynthia is a graduate of the University of Alabama, Birmingham with a degree in Social Work.

Danna Perdue-Melton, ALC

is an Associate Licensed Counselor (ALC). Danna is a graduate of the University of Montevallo, receiving her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health. Danna serves as Intake Coordinator at Oasis and provides individual counseling to women to help them improve their mental and emotional well-being. Her interests include family of origin issues and healing from adverse childhood experiences.

Leah Riley, M.Ed. ALC

Leah is an Associate Licensed Counselor (ALC). She is a graduate of the University of Montevallo, and received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Leah serves as a counselor for adult women. She has experience working with women of all ages walking through grief, trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, and crisis. She has extensive background in working with women struggling with eating disorders and other co-morbid disorders. 

Melissa Werner, PhD, LPC

is a Licensed Professional Counselor recently retired from a long career in academia as an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at Athens State University, as well having held positions with several other academic institutions throughout her career. Melissa holds a PhD in Early Childhood and Child Development and earned a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling in 2011, both from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Melissa is also an Adult and Child Analyst Diploma Candidate at the C.G. Jung Institute in Kusnacht, Switzerland.  She brings her breadth of knowledge and experience to the children and parents she sees in Play Therapy and Sand Tray Therapy at Oasis.


Our Office Staff

Office Staff:

Meredith Moore, Office Manager, manages the administrative functions, facilities and is the liaison to the Board of Directors and Advisory Council. She received a dual degree from Vanderbilt University in Psychology & Sociology. She has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Meredith was previously employed as the Inventory Manager for Zimmer Inc.

Kathy Huckabay is a member of our office Administration. She works as an assistant to the Executive Director, the Director of Development, and the Office Manager. She is the billing specialist and employee liaison for benefit coordination.

 Cass Adams, Angela Holloway, and Elizabeth White are our Oasis Receptionists. They manage client check-in, scheduling and other front desk responsibilities.


If you are graduate-level student interested in a counseling practicum or internship placement at Oasis, please contact Carolyn Nemeth by email at

Our Mission

Oasis helps women and children heal, grow and overcome difficult life circumstances by providing affordable mental health counseling and innovative educational programs in a respectful and nurturing environment.

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